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Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
For those interested in keeping up with events in Palestine/Israel, there is no better digest than VTJP.

VTJP Archives | VTJP 2009
20 March, 2009
Sorry for the recent break in service while we converted our news collection process. News stories on the VTJP website will now update around the clock rather than by time-consuming daily uploads. These changes have necessitated a change in the format of the daily e-mail, as you will see below, and should enable us to send these email digests several hours earlier. We hope to improve the abstracts for most news stories and articles as we continue to develop this upgrade. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Thanks to the folks at Feed2JS and Modevia Web Services for feed hosting services, Dapper and FeedBurner for RSS support, and David Ehrens for invaluable advice.
International Middle East Media Center
  • ARIJ study: “Settlements increased by 173% in 20 years”
    Sat, 21 Mar 2009 05:32:43 +0200
    A field study conducted by the Applied Research Institute (ARIJ) reported that the Israeli state had significantly increased the illegal construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank with a percentage that reached 173%. ...
  • Swiss paper: ‘Israeli commandoes infiltrated a Syrian nuke site”
    Sat, 21 Mar 2009 02:31:33 +0200
    The Swiss daily newspaper, Neue Zuercher Zeitung, published a report on Thursday that in August of 2007 Israeli commandos were dropped by two helicopters onto an alleged nuclear reactor in Syria before the site was later on bombarded and destroyed by the Israeli air force. ...
  • Six injured, one critically at Nil'in weekly protest
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 16:06:09 +0200
    Scores of villagers from Nil'in, located near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, held their weekly protest on Friday midday against the illegal Israeli wall being built on village land. ...
  • Three injured, including Americans, in Bil'in's weekly demonstration
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 15:48:19 +0200
    The residents of Bil'in village, located near the central west Bank city of Ramallah, marched towards the wall today after Friday prayers. The protest was joined by Israeli and international activists. ...
  • Rafah crossing to remain closed
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 12:50:29 +0200
    Adel Zo'rob, spokesperson for General Administration of Crossings said on Friday morning that the Rafah crossing will remain closed until obstacles to crossing are overcome. ...
  • Mustafa Barghouthi: Israel again tries to derail Palestinian national unity talks
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 11:18:18 +0200
    MP Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative said that the Cairo dialogue has achieved significant progress and continues to make constructive and positive progress. ...
  • Netanyahu needs more time before presenting coalition government
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 11:16:01 +0200
    Israeli Ynet News reported that Israel's Prime Minister-designate, Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud party, will probably ask president Shimon Peres, to grant him more time to present the new coalition government. ...
  • Palestinian factions to resume talks in Cairo next week
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 10:30:25 +0200
    Palestinian factions are set to resume their internal talks next week in an attempt to achieve a deal after the latest nine days of talks failed to achieve a comprehensive deal for internal unity. ...
  • UN envoy says Gaza offensive a war crime
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 10:01:00 +0200
    Richard Falk, UN special rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian territories, stated on Thursday that what Israel did in Gaza during the war “appears to constitute a war crime” ...
  • Israel disputes PCHR's statement on Gaza offensive death toll
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 08:29:32 +0200
    The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) based in Gaza, published the names of 1.417 Palestinians killed in the Israeli war against the Gaza Strip. Israel disputed the list and claimed that most of its targets were “legitimate”. ...

Ha'aretz Defense page

Ma'an News



  • OPT: From Guangzhou to Gaza - underground
    GAZA CITY Thursday, March 19, 2009 (IRIN) - The main kitchenware supplier in Gaza, Al-Dahshan Company, last received a shipment from Israel over two years ago through the Karni crossing.
  • In Brief: Good and bad news for world?s forests
    DAKAR Monday, March 16, 2009 (IRIN) - In its biennial State of the World?s Forests 2009 report, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) notes that climate change and economic recession present both challenges and opportunities for the world?s nearly four billion hectares of forest. While a protracted economic slump may increase illegal logging in cash-strapped areas and reduce governments? commitment to green goals, declining demand worldwide for wood products and commercial forest-cultivated food may also save some forests ? in the short term.

Palestine News Network

  • Three injured, including Americans, at Bil’in’s weekly nonviolent demonstration marking Al ...
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 12:28:33 +0100
    Bil’in / Iyad Burnat - The residents of Bil'in marched towards the wall today after the Friday prayer. The protest was joined by Israeli and international activists. Protesters carried a huge banner remarking the 41st anniversary of Al-Karama.Banners condemning Israeli’s ongoing racist policies and violence against civilians, especially in Jerusalem where Palestinians are facing ethnic cleansing were also carried. The protest bega...
  • Egyptian sources: the final decision on prisoner exchange remains unsettled
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 11:57:29 +0100
    Cairo / PNN - Egyptian sources told the press Friday that the final decision with respect to the exchange of some of the 11,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons for the captured Israeli soldiers has yet to be resolved. Sources in Tel Aviv say that the crucial decision regarding the deal for the captured soldier Gilad Shalit deal will be taken by the current Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the remaining days of his mandate. The sources described Olme...
  • Turkish TV soon to launch in Arabic
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 10:58:29 +0100
    Ankara / PNN - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that preparations are underway for an impending launch of the Arabic version of Turkish state-owned television.Erdogan became a national hero when he told the Israeli President at the World Economic Forum, You know very well how to kill. Erdogan said in a statement to the news channel RTL TGV that preparations to launch the TV channel in question had reached the final stage...
  • From Jenin 2002 to Gaza 2008/9 - A commander ordered troops to kill an elderly woman
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 02:08:18 +0100
    Kristen Ess - I have to say on an editorial note that these stories from Gaza of racist writings on the walls of homes, the property destruction, in addition to the rapid and rampant killings and beatings of Palestinians, the use of human shields (tying children to tanks) and the admittance of atrocities by Israeli soldiers in Gaza are terrifyingly reminiscent of what I witnessed, and then later read in accounts by soldiers, of the massacre in Je...
  • PNN reveals the secrets of computer piracy and hacking, and how to prevent becoming a victim
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 00:59:38 +0100
    PNN exclusive / Hiba Lama - It seems that the world has stopped being as big as our ancestors once believed it to be. In fact it has become a small village and you and I enter through its golden gates referred to as www dot which let you in on an endless world of information, news, images, books and entertainment. We don't even look at clocks for the time anymore. A quick glance at one's computer is all it takes. As the saying goes, &ld...
  • Bethlehem’s Al Kul TV begins series on human rights in the PA
    Thu, 19 Mar 2009 09:33:34 +0100
    Bethlehem / PNN - Al Kul (means together in English) Television, a partner of PNN and Holy Land Trust, is implementing a ground-breaking project. From their televisions and radios Palestinians will now see and hear on a weekly basis discussions and solutions on the situation of human rights concerning, not the Israeli occupation this time, but rather the Palestinian Authority. Generous support is coming from the European Union.The project will c...
  • Palestinian member of Israeli Knesset being charged with participation in nonviolent demonstrations
    Thu, 19 Mar 2009 07:57:30 +0100
    PNN exclusive / Fadi Yacoub – Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, Mohammad Barakeh, remains under threat.On Thursday the Israeli police conducted an investigation against Barakeh, Chairman of the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality in the Knesset for allegedly “disrupting the work of the police a year and a half ago,” he told PNN. He was participating in a nonviolent demonstration with the family victims of the Israel...

Stop The Wall

  • Wadi Rasha protest halts uprooting for several hours
    March 15th, 2009 --, Villagers from Wadi Rasha, Ras Tira, and Daba?a held a protest against the destruction of their olive droves and managed to block Occupation machinery for much of the morning. Every day, Occupation forces uproot as many as 40 mature olives trees in their efforts to clear a path for the Wall on village land. [
  • Dozens of injuries in West Bank anti-Wall protests
    March 14th, 2009 --, Dozens of people in various West Bank villages were injured this Friday, and one American activist has been seriously wounded in Ni?lin and currently lies in a coma at a Tel Aviv hospital. In addition to Ni?lin, there were actions in Jayyous, Bi?lin, Ma?sara and Burin, with a demonstration planned for tomorrow in Wadi Rasha. [

PCHR Latest

PCHR Weekly Report

  • (12- 18 March  2008)
    During the reporting period, IOF injured 19 Palestinian civilians, including nine children, and an American human rights defender in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

  • Gilad Shalit's family marks 1,000 days since soldier held captive
    Sat, 21 Mar 2009 01:58:48 GMT+02:00
    The family of Gilad Shalit, the Israel Defense Forces soldier who was abducted in a cross-border raid by Gaza-based guerillas in June 2006, will mark 1,000 days of his captivity on Saturday. ...
  • U.S. to spend $1m on accommodations for Mideast envoy George Mitchell
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 23:46:39 GMT+02:00
    U.S. officials said Friday the State Department will spend about $1 million to renovate, reconfigure and furnish the Washington workspace of special Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell and outfit satellite offices for him in Jerusalem and in New York, where he lives. ...
  • Hamas: We'll kidnap more soldiers if Israel doesn't show flexibility
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 23:10:30 GMT+02:00
    Damascus-based Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal on Friday told the Sydney Morning Herald that Israel should show more flexibility in the face of Hamas demands in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, or otherwise risk more of its troops being abducted by Hamas. ...
  • Report: Egyptian sources say Shalit deal imminent
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 23:01:43 GMT+02:00
    Egyptian sources told the London-based Arab newspaper Al Hayat that a prisoner swap deal is likely to be achieved before outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert leaves office. ...
  • How IDF troops 'infiltrated alleged Syria nuke site'
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 22:18:56 GMT+02:00
    An Israeli commando unit carried out a reconnaissance mission at an alleged Syrian nuclear reactor that was later destroyed by the Israel Air Force, the Swiss daily Neue Zuercher Zeitung reported Thursday. ...

The Guardian

Ha'aretz National page

  • Peres gives Netanyahu 14-day extension to form government
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 18:49:13 GMT+02:00
    President Shimon Peres on Friday accorded Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu a 14-day extension to form a government. ...
  • Jerusalem Police set to prevent 'Palestinian Culture Festival'
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 14:03:47 GMT+02:00
    Jerusalem Police announced on Friday they would prevent the so-called Palestinian Culture Festival the Palestinian Authority plans to organize in the city on Saturday. ...
  • Reserve IDF generals: Gaza ethics probe necessary but difficult to carry out 
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 12:25:15 GMT+02:00
    Reserve Israel Defense Forces generals cast doubt Thursday over the army's ability to conduct an efficient internal investigation, after the publication in Haaretz of testimonies of soldiers who took part in the Gaza offensive. The soldiers complained of permissive rules of engagement and the intentional destruction of Palestinian property. ...
  • ANALYSIS / Bibi and Barak are a perfect political match 
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 09:00:53 GMT+02:00
    There's scarcely a more natural political pair than Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, beyond their taste for cigars, tycoons and luxury. They both served in the General Staff Reconnaissance Unit, where Ehud was Bibi's commander. There was Hanan Crystal's 1986 prediction in Hadashot that UN ambassador Netanyahu and Central Command CO Barak would be the future Likud and Labor leaders. They were both prime ministers who were voted out of power, and have been striving to return ever since. ...
  • Netanyahu to woo reticent Labor MKs before party meet 
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 08:56:10 GMT+02:00
    Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu intends to meet by Tuesday with all Labor MKs who object to joining a national unity government. ...

Relief Web

YNet News

  • Israel bans Palestinian cultural events
    Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter has signed a number of injunctions banning a series of events titled "Jerusalem, the capital of Arab culture," which were scheduled to be held Saturday in Jerusalem, Nazareth ...
  • Shalit activists hope extension given to Netanyahu will help cause
    The head of the organization leading the public campaign for Gilad Shalit's release told Ynet on Friday that he hoped the two-week extension given to Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu to forge a new ...
  • Deported former Nazi guard a free man in Austria
    A former Nazi concentration camp guard who was deported from the United States on Thursday is now a free man because he cannot be prosecuted in Austria, the Austrian justice ministry said on Friday. Josias ...
  • Iran leader says world can't stop nuclear progress
    Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Friday world powers had been persuaded they could not block Iran's nuclear progress, but he made no mention of a message by US President Barack Obama to his country. ...
  • Peres appeals to Iranian people
    "On the eve of the new year, I appeal to the noble Iranian people on behalf of the ancient Jewish people and urge them to reclaim their worthy place among the nations of the enlightened world," said President ...
  • Assad visits Jordan in effort to patch ties
    The Syrian president is visiting Jordan in an effort to patch up ties ahead of an upcoming Arab League summit later this month. It is Bashar Assad's first visit to Jordan since 2005. He'll meet with Jordan's ...
  • Poisoning attack mastermind sent to jail
    A young Palestinian of Nablus, who had conspired to carry out a poisoning attack at a Ramat Gan restaurant, was sentenced Friday by the Samaria Military Court to six years in prison and two years probation. ...


Daily Star

  • Anger and struggles six years after US invasion of Iraq 
    Saturday, March 21, 2009
    Thousands of followers of anti-American Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called for an end to US occupation of Iraq on Friday, but the government ignored the sixth anniversary of the invasion. Death tolls have tumbled since Iraq's deadliest days in late 2007, and in just three months time American forces are to withdraw from major cities.
  • Jordan, Syria patch up ties ahead of Arab summit 
    Saturday, March 21, 2009
    Jordan's King Abdullah II and Syrian President Bashar Assad called in a meeting on Friday for Arab leaders to patch up their differences ahead of their summit later this month in Qatar. "The two leaders stressed the need for a purification of the Arab climate," the palace said after talks between the king and Assad, making a brief visit to Amman, his first in five years.
  • US vessels collide in Strait of Hormuz 
    Saturday, March 21, 2009
    A nuclear-powered US submarine and an amphibious vessel collided in the Strait of Hormuz Friday, slightly injuring 15 sailors and causing a fuel spill, the US Navy said. "The collision between USS Hartford (SSN 768) and USS New Orleans (LPD 18) occurred at approximately 1:00 a.m. local time (2030 GMT on Thursday)," the Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet said.
  • Iran plays down message from Obama 
    Saturday, March 21, 2009
    The United States has a set of next steps planned to encourage dialogue with Tehran after the release of President Barack Obama's video message to Iran's leaders and people, the White House said Friday. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was asked whether it was hoped that the message released earlier would be the start of.
  • Netanyahu gets more time to form broad coalition 
    Saturday, March 21, 2009
    Israel's prime minister-designate, Benjamin Netanyahu, was granted an extra two weeks on Friday to form a government he hopes would be as broad as possible, the presidency said. The hawkish Likud leader wants to avoid giving too much clout to far-right and religious parties and will use the extra time to try to convince the center-left.
  • Obama offers Iran 'new beginning' 
    Saturday, March 21, 2009
    US President Barack Obama's landmark call for a "new beginning" with arch-foe Iran drew international praise on Friday, with world leaders hoping Tehran will react positively to Washington's olive branch. Obama's statement marking Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, marked a clear break with the policies of the previous administration of president George W. Bush.
  • Full text of Obama's address to Iranian people and leaders 
    Saturday, March 21, 2009
    US President Barack Obama spoke "directly" to Iran's people and leaders in a videotaped message released Friday to coincide with the Nowruz new year holiday, the White House said. Here is the full text of the message: "Today I want to extend my very best wishes to all who are celebrating Nowruz around the world.
  • Opposition keeps up pressure on Sarkozy to boost wages 
    Saturday, March 21, 2009
    Opposition leaders piled pressure on French President Nicolas Sarkozy Friday to boost low wages and cap executive bonuses after more than a million striking workers marched in anger at the government. Factory and white-collar workers from across the private sector joined a million civil servants Thursday in France's second nationwide strike in two months.

Palestinian Information Center

Los Angeles Times

  • Israel soldier calls order during Gaza assault 'murder'
    Sat, 21 Mar 2009 00:00:00 -0700
    Newspapers publish fuller recollections of what happened during the 22-day offensive, including the killings of an elderly woman and a mother and her two children. Israelis on Friday got a fuller dose of rank-and-file angst over their army's winter assault on the Gaza Strip, as newspapers elaborated on allegations that commanders created a permissive attitude toward the killing of civilians.
  • Israeli soldiers report abuses in Gaza
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 00:00:00 -0700
    Some rights groups have claimed Israel violated the rules of war in its recent killing of Palestinians. Now accounts from Israel's own ranks seem to support the claims. An investigation is ordered. Two months after ending its assault on the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army was confronted Thursday by the first public allegations from within its ranks of unwarranted killings and other abuses of Palestinian civilians.
  • Obama delivers holiday greetings to Iran
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 00:00:00 -0700
    His Persian New Year's message stresses the potential for peaceful cooperation between Iran and the U.S. President Obama early today broadcast a speech to Iran's public offering greetings for a pre-Islamic New Year's holiday widely celebrated in the country.

New York Times


Electronic Intifada
  • From Guangzhou to Gaza -- underground
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 16:09:16 PST
    GAZA CITY (IRIN) - The main kitchenware supplier in Gaza, al-Dahshan Company, last received a shipment from Israel over two years ago through the Karni crossing. Karni, the only commercial crossing with the facilities to allow large numbers of trucks to enter Gaza, has been closed since June 2007 except for the conveyor belt that operates for grain deliveries.
  • Israeli soldiers expose atrocities in Gaza
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 12:38:52 PST
    JERUSALEM (IPS) - Based on testimony from Israeli soldiers who took part in the recent war in Gaza, Israel is being confronted directly with the serious charge that permissive rules of engagement allowed for the killing of Palestinian civilians and widespread destruction of Palestinian property.

Tales To Tell

  • March 19: Speaking truth to power
    January 09 art from children at the Al Amal Centre, Khan Younis, We were back at Faraheen this morning accompanying farmers again, eyeing the jeeps driving along the Israeli border while our farmers removed the irrigation pipes from one of the fields we have visited regularly. Since Mohammed was shot in the leg, the farmer here has decided to give up on this field, its convenient well, and its half-grown parsley crop - 200,000 shekels worth - in ...
  • March 16: Worth no more, worth no less
    Today's mural for the over 1,400 dead reads 'Gaza in my heart'., Our Rafah ISM colleagues (both of whom worked with Rachel) invited us south for a commemoration kite-flying today; 1 kite to comemorate ISMer Rachel Corrie who was killed by Israel on this day in 2003, and 14 kites to commemorate the over 1,400 Palestinians killed by Israel in Dec 08/Jan 09. They also invited local artists to paint a section of the Israeli wall near where Rachel was...

Palestine Chronicle

  • Intifada: A Third Chapter 
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 13:30:42 -0400
    By Ramzy Baroud Though the dust has settled in Gaza, the rubble from the untold number of demolished buildings, homes and mosques is far from being cleared away. Graves continue to receive victims, young and old alike, from Israel's most recent offensive. And in the midst of this, with the hopes of some respite and recovery on the horizon, rumors of a third Intifada swell among politicians, scholars and everyday people alike. While the first and ...
  • The Israeli Terror: My Friend Tristan
    Fri, 20 Mar 2009 13:19:13 -0400
    By David RovicsI was in Olympia, Washington driving towards Evergreen State College when I got a phone call from someone in the occupied West Bank of Palestine. An Evergreen graduate named Rachel Corrie had been killed a few days before by an Israeli soldier in an armored bulldozer, and someone with an Australian accent on my cell phone named Tom was wondering whether it was OK for the International Solidarity Movement to use the lyrics to a song...